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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 4, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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good evening. . a new poll, from the wall street journal. it shows hillary clinton up nine points nationally versus donald trump. this is the third poll in the last 24 hours with an average lead of clinton plus 11 1/3 points to be exact. there is other new polling. swing state by swing state that has to be an eye opener campaign. john king will join us for that. again there, is so much more. president obama weighing in on
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$400 million in cash landing in iran on the same day american captives were released. donald trump talking about a secret video of itself that he says he has seen but by all matur matu measures, simply does not exist. there is hillary clinton concerning her e-mails and new questions about melania trump's immigration status. no shortage of news. we begin with president obama's news conference at the pentagon. he gave a progress report but was also asked to expand on his reports about donald trump's fitness for office. >> at the end of the day, it is the american people's decision. i have one vote. i have the same vote you do. i have the same vote that all of the voters who were eligible across the country have. i've offered my opinion but ultimately it is the american people's decision to make
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collective. if somebody wins the election and they are president, then my constitutional responsibility is to fully transfer power to that individual and do everything i can to help you succeed. i want all of you to make your own judgment. i've made this point already multiple times. just listen to what mr. trump has to say and listen to your own judgment with respect to how confident you feel about his ability to manage things like our nuclear trials. >> some suggest you aren't competent. >> as i recall, i just answered the question a couple of days like this and i made myself pretty clear. i don't want to keep repeating it or a variation on it. i obviously have a very strong opinion about the two candidates who are running. one is very positive and one is not so much.
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and i think you will just hear any further questions, i think you'll hear variations on the same thing. what i can say is this is serious business. the person who is in the oval office and our secretary of defense and joint chiefs of staff and outstanding men and women in uniform report to, they are counting on somebody who has the temperament and good judgment to make decisions to keep america safe and that should be very much on the minds of voters when they go into the voting booth in november. >> the president was asked about donald trump's allegations ininsinuation that this election
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might be rigged. >> of course the elections will not be rigged. what does that mean? the federal government doesn't run the election process states, cities, and communities all across the country p. they're the ones that set-up the voting booth and if mr. trump is suggesting that there is a conspiracy theory that is being prop debat propegated across the country including places like texas where typically it is not democrats who are in charge of voting booths, that is ridiculous. i think all of us at some points in our lives that play sports or maybe in a school yard or a sand box, sometimes folks, if they
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lose, they start complaining that they got cheated but i've never heard of somebody complaining about being cheated before the game was over. or before the score is even tallied. so my suggestion would be you know, go out there and try to win the election. if mr. trump is up ten or 15 points on election day and ends up losing, then you know, yeah, he can raise some questions. that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. >> indeed, he is down 10 or 15 points. president obama, late today, his birthday. here to talk about it, chief nolg correspondent john king. cnn analyst julia kayyem who is the author of security mom and commenter and senior obama
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advisor, david axlerod. download his podcasts at cnn/ d cnn/podcas cnn/podcasts. when the president says everybody should make their own judgment on whether donald trump should be trusted with the nuclear codes, he seems to be saying that you should take my judgment. >> without a doubt. he was standk at the pent fwon. his language was not as political as it was the other day at the white house and he used a word unfit when it came to donald trump. you didn't have to listen to the president's words. you can see it in his body language. he made the case against donald trump and when he is out campaigning, he will make it in pointed terms when he is not in an official setting. he has a 54% approval rating. he is talking about serious business there with isis. the republicans disagree with his plan. they've been critical of him tonight. the president believes he has the high ground. the clinton campaign believes they have momentum. what is shifting is not the
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balance out of the democratic convention. they think with the douetours o discipline now a days. when they cloelz their eyes, they can't see donald trump as a president so the incoming president is trying to help his friend without a doubt. >> david axle rod there, is no security test for incoming president. if he wins, he gets the nuclear codes whether prelz president likes it or not which is a point he seemed to acknowledge today where the other day he was murky on it. >> well, i don't think he was murky on it. i mean, the president understands that we have a constitutional system and when somebody gets elected president that there is a transition to that person. i think he is, what he has consistently made clear and he was more muted today, though, it was at the pentagon, reminds me of that old thing as subtle as a screen door on a submarine. he made his feelings pretty clear. he doesn't feel that donald
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trump is equip to handle the awesome power that a president has to handle and make those kinds of decisions and you know, in terms of the polling, i think this is really the key question. this is the one that they hit very hard at the convention and then donald trump went out and he seemed to prove their point by having this awful five days in which he seemed very erratic and reactive and this is what makes people nervous about this issue of can he handle the nuclear triad. >> so, juliet, obviously, the president says look at donald trump's past statements on national security suggesting that he thinks there is cause for concern but donald trump supporters, they don't feel that way. donald trump supporters like the way he talks about national security. they think it sends a message of strength. >> yes it has been interesting in the last couple of months. there is a shift for the democrats at least. normally we talk about safety appeared security and now what you hear opponents of trump
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saying actually is stability and sanity. that has become the new safety and security. do you actually trust him. and for those who support trump at this staplinge, one of the problems they have is for presidents i've liked and presidents i've disagreed with, what you can say they both had is an ability to take the long view, right? to sort of look past the immediate insult or the baby crying or the immediate poll, and trump is sort of finding it difficult to sort of look at the long view, so you're going to see lots of people talking about sanity and stability, much more so than safety and security. >> the president says both donald trump and hillary clinton, they will get their classified intelligence briefing. those will start soon and he said it is up to them to guard the information carefully. it seemed like the president was weighing, the way he talked about that very carefully because of course, hillary clinton, there have been issues on how she handled classified information on her e-mail. once they start getting them, i
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suppose this debate ends. >> once they start getting them, they continue on so you never know you know, quite, all the way up to election day, who will say what. and sometimes candidates do either abuse or ignore what is in the briefing. fame louously john kennedy sayse was no missile gap in effect with the russians and continued to insist we have this terrible missile gap. it disappeared after his election but what i think is important about president obama did today it was not what he said. it was the contrast he presented. he was subdued, muted as david axlerod said. there is something assuring about the way he handles things. he doesn't fly off of the handle. pars his word. he has the truth as precisely as possible and i think he is benefitting -- the president is benefitting and so is hillary clinton from a certain nostalga for president obama is starting
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to set in. people are looking at the alternative. saying obama is pretty good. >> david axlerod, you know president obama more than most people. how do you think he wants to engage trump going forward because today it was more muted, certainly than what we saw in the convention. when he gets back from martha's vineyard. how will he act? >> i think john king was right that this was at the pentagon. it deictated a certain sobriety he brought to us. he will clearly be out there. this is the issue he will hone in on, the fundamental issue of temperament and of decisiveness is something personally offends him but temperament is the key to this election when hillary clinton said you know, if you can't handle getting gigged on twitter, then you can't handle the nuclear codes. that is the fundamental argument that is disqualifying donald
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trump. they're not numerous enough to win in election. he needs to add supporters and what has happened over the last five days created greater concern about whether he is equipped to handle this office. >> all right, guys, stick around. we have to take a quick break. how president obama handled one of the hotter topics of the campaign. the cash payment $400 million that landed in iran just as american captives were headed home. was it ransom or a confidence or just literally old news? and what about that video itself that donald trump says he has seen but nobody else has because it doesn't really seem to exist. we'll talk about all of that tonight. later, hillary clinton, again, repeating a line about her e-mails and her honesty line that isn't true. that and more when 360 continues. if you've gone to extremes to escape your nasal allergies.
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donald trump has been advised lately to stay on message briefly did today. he hammered the administration for paying back in january $400 million in cash to iran. the money you should know was part of an arms dealer. the allegation was it became cash for captives deal with the islamic republic. donald trump hit it hard today, president obama hit back. >> we announced these payments in january. many months ago. it wasn't a secret. we announceed them to all of you. jsh did josh did a briefing on them. this wasn't some nefarious deal. at the time, we explained that iran had pressed a claim before
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an international tribunal about a claim of us freezing money. it was the assessment of our lawyers that we were now at a point where there was significant litigation risk and we could end up costing ourselves billions of dollars. it was their advice and suggestion that we settle. and that is what these payments represent. and it wasn't a secret. we were completely open with everybody about it and it is interesting how this became a story again. that is point number one. point number two, we do not pay ransom for hostages. we've got a number of americans being held all around the world and i meet with their families and it is heartbreaking and we had stood up an entire section
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of interagency experts who devote all of their time with working with these families to get the americans out but those families know that we have a policy that we don't pay ransom and the notion that we would somehow start now in this high profile way and announce it to the world even as we're looking into the faces of other hostage families -- whose loved ones are held hostage and say to them we don't pay ransom defies logic. we're back with juliette kayyem and buck sexton. david, let me start with you. he echoed with john kerry said earlier that the united states does not pay ransom for hostages. ransom is a loaded word. leave that aside. but the idea that there was no
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quid pro quo. do you buy that? >> i think this is going to come out entirely in the eyes of the beholder. people who don't like president obama will say a ransom. they'll say there was quid pro quo. secrecy involved here. the president has his views, you just heard. it wasn't quid pro quo. we were paying back money we had to pay and got a good deal doing it and it was wrapped up the first time we had a negotiation and the iran's think it was ransom. yes it was ransom, we demanded this as part of the negotiations, they paid up. what a good deal we got. i don't think this will go anywhere because it is a muddy situation. the best argument -- he has two good arguments going for them. they did announce in january. the new york times, they have a story. four paragraphs down. they're paying us money. the second is that the nuclear agreement has worked better than expected. it hasn't stop the terrorisms but even the israelis say they
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has worked out well. >> the gothey got the hostages back at the same time. they seem awfully connected. >> that is why the justice department didn't want to do this. the optics say it was ransom. >> if you look at the timeline, the administration had to be aware of how this would look when people figured it out. not just that there was going to be a payment, that the payment occurred within 24 hours or within the same day as the release of the hostages. why would they take that risk to a crafted and stage managed situation unless it was a precondition for the release meaning even if it was a matter of hours, if the money was necessary to get to this phase where the hostages were given back to us, then that is, in fact, a ransom. there is no way around this. to say it is not a ransom is to say they made this enormous mistake after this negotiation. they didn't stop to think that a timeline that had the two things coming so close together would look this way to everybody. that defies belief. earlier they said it was
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confidence. now they're saying we just sort of announced it. they're trying to massage the message here. realistically, the iranians must have said, without this money, there won't be a deal on this day and you're not getting your hostages back. that is a ransom. call it whatever it is, but that is what it is. >> do they already owe the money. >> the appearance of it is all that really matters. especially when you look at the before and afters. iranians have taken additional hostages since this occurred by the way so the lessen they have learned is it is a bargaining tour. >> the president announced it that day but secrecy aside, juliette say it is ransom. the hostages came back the same day it arrived. the timing on it is new here. >> it should not shock you that the iranians will create a narrative on how the iranian deal benefitted the iranians. it is irrelevant what they are saying. people criticizing this are
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pretending that the 400 million came out of the blue and what a funny number and we'll hand it to the iranians get the hostages back. this is a well known litigated since 1979 payment that we owed iran based on sort of a deal, right, in 1979 that fell apart because of the iranian hostage crisis. it is not like this number came out of anywhere. buck says the money shows it. the money was known for many, many decades and let me just say, based solely on the speculation at the same time. there is another way to look at it which is a much safer way to look at it for the millions of americans that work and live abroad that serve in the military, that serve in the intelligence agencies which is simultaneously there were three different negotiations going on. you look at the negotiations going on over the last year and i called them the past, the present, and the future negotiations, right? so the past was the payment we're talking about. the present was the hostages, and the future was the nuclear deal. they're going on simultaneously
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because guess what? we didn't have negotiations going on with iran for many decad decades. the idea that we're going to call it just because there is a confidence of timing, the coincidence of time saeg becain we're talking to iran is incredibly dangerous. identify want to make that clear. this is not just politics. to now say that this administration is now willing to put up dollars to get americans, including our military, including our intelligence agencies out of hostage situations is incredibly dangerous because guess what countries do. they take our military -- >> people will say it is dangerous to do that more than to say that the administration has done it. they're setting the precedent. the administration does negotiate. this administration in particular has negotiated with terrorists. others have as well. it is a guideline, not a rule. >> the take we -- >> i understand that. you saw with bowe bergdahl, there was a hostage swap in place here.
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the idea that this all happened on the same day, there were different arms of government negotiating. i mean, this is too much for any normal person to take based on common sense appeared the administration is trying to change the messaging about this. >> you're in between here a little bit. the idea that there were three separate tracks and not connected, that is hard to take. without the money, it is hard to imagine other parts. on the other hand, this is business. this is how things are done at this level. >> i come back to the point, they gave us money back in 1979, $400 million which we put in escrow. the deal fell apart and we refused to give the money back to them. what they demanded was they wanted $10 billion in interest payments plus the $400 million and out of the negotiation we agreed, okay, we'll give you the $400 million back and 1.3 in interest. so the administration is saying we got a good deal. argue that one way or the other. it is different when you owe them the money than if you come up with fresh money and say by
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the way, we've come up with money, give us our guys back. i think there is a difference in degree and frankly, countries do things like this and the cuban missile crisis, what was famous in part is we cut a side deal. this administration cut a side deal with the russians and kept it secret and six months later came out and people squawked. we hahn handled it pretty darn well. >> we have to go but the discussion on whether we have to do it is a good one. the new polls showing hillary clinton widening her lead nationally and widening her lead in several key swing states. john king breaks it all down for us and the donald trump on the campaign trail in maine slamming hillary clinton and the cash payment we've been talking about to iran and also refusing to let go of this claim that he has seen a video of the cash being delivered. a video that as we said by all measures, doesn't exist. anything meant to stand needs a stable foundation. a body without proper foot support can mean pain. the dr. scholl's kiosk maps your feet and recommends
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as we said, a new nbc news "wall street journal national poll shows hillary clinton has nearly double the lead she had from before the conventions. in a head-to-head matchup clinton is up nine points and that's up five points since
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before the election. for days now top republicans and his own advisers have been urging trump to reset his message to in effect stop shooting himself in the foot. over the past 24 hours he has appeared to be listening, to a degree, focusing his attacks on hillary clinton for the 400 million cash payment that the united states made to iran on the same day they freed american prisoners. trump also couldn't stop talking about a secret video of that payment that by all measure does not exist. here's jason carroll. >> reporter: donald trump looking to steady his campaign after several rocky days by taking aim at hillary clinton. >> hillary clinton, furthermore, can never be trusted with national security. >> reporter: and attacking the obama administration's $400 million payment to iran, but still repeating the false claim that he saw video of the
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transfer taking place. >> the tape was made, right? you saw that with the airplane coming in. nice plane, and the airplane coming in and the money coming off, i guess, right? that was given to us, has to be by the iranians, and you know why the tape was given to us? because they want to embarrass our country. they want to embarrass our country, and they want to embarrass our president. >> reporter: this as the gop nominee tries to reassure voters and republican voters wary of his recent series of missteps that his campaign is moving in the right direction, helping him make the case, a big july fund-raising hall. >> 80 or $82 million, we're raising a lot of money for the republican party, but small contributions, i think it was $61 each. >> reporter: trump's running mate mike pence broke ranks with him when he strongly endorsed paul ryan a day after trump said he was not ready to do so. >> ryan today shrugged off trump's non-endorsement.
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>> the only endorsements that i want are those of my own employers here in the first congressional district. >> ryan also opening the door of potentially not backing trump in the future. >> none of these things are ever blank checks and that goes with any situation in any kind of race. >> reporter: there was also new evidence of frustration with trump's candidacy among republican, colorado congressman mike kaufman who is facing a tough re-election released a tv ad vowing to take on trump. >> so if donald trump is the president i'll stand up to him. >> reporter: a fresh round of poll numbers today show hillary clinton leading donald trump in three key states, up nine points in michigan, 13 points in pennsylvania, and 15 points in new hampshire where that deficit could also spell trouble for republican senator kelly ayotte's re-election bid, but trump campaign chairman paul manafort says the dip is no surprise. >> we had a bounce. we knew the democrats would have a bounce.
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>> jason carroll joins us now. jason, on the subject of the security briefings, the classified intelligence briefings that both candidates will get. do we know when trump will start getting his? >> reporter: i think it's safe to say that it will be some time soon, but really i have to say it was stunning to hear the president mention that whoever gets these briefings needs to act like a president, clearly that was a shot right at donald trump who as you know, oftentimes responds to criticisms like this pretty quickly. we went to look at his twitter and no response from him there and a big thank you to the people of portland. so what we may be seeing here is a different donald trump, one that uses more restraint. we'll see which donald trump shows up tomorrow at his rally in wisconsin. john? >> today and tomorrow often very different for donald trump. jason carroll, thanks so much. more on the new straight polls showing donald trump trailing hillary clinton by big margins in several key states like pennsylvania long considered a must-win for donald trump. john king here to break it down
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by the numbers. the national numbers bad for donald trump today and not much solace in the state numbers. >> not at all, john. you heard jason carroll saying it was just a bounce. when you talk to republicans it's worse than a bounce. let's look at some of the numbers and let's look at pennsylvania. most people, even inside the trump campaign, they think he needs to win. there is an 11-point lead right now for secretary clinton in the key battleground state. remember that, 11 points in pennsylvania. if he can't get pennsylvania or dependent on the rust belt, he would need michigan. a healthy lead and nine points there for secretary clinton. in the detroit news poll, two midwest battleground polls there, new hampshire, only four electoral votes and in a close election that can matter. you see a healthy lead there for secretary clinton, as well. up here in the north, florida, donald trump says this is his second home and 29 electoral votes and hard to get donald trump to 270 if he can't get florida. this is the closest state
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between obama and romney in 2012 and it's closer here, john. four for four and these four battleground state polls and donald trump is in a bit of a ditch here. >> if you dig deeper beneath the lines, what do you see? >> this is where it gets interesting and let's take a book at this. i'll start in pennsylvania, but you will see a pattern here. number one, clinton consolidated the democratic party and we just lost that. that disappeared and i'll see if i can get it back while we talk and one of the things that happened in the election is clinton consolidated the support and she's getting 80% in some places and in florida it's lower among the voters and we'll see if it powers back up for me here, and the fight with paul ryan and i won't endorse john mccain and you see him lagging behind republicans and in these states she leads in michigan, pennsylvania and new hampshire, and it's a small lead among independents in florida and she's largely consolidated the democratic party when donald
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trump has a problem, that's a big piece of it. >> without pennsylvania and without florida, without michigan and without new hampshire those polls that came out today does donald trump have any reasonable path? >> no. the answer is no. we didn't even take in tim kaine's home state of virginia and hillary clinton's running mate. i saw data that shows trump in ohio, as well. donald trump is in a bit of a ditch and we'll see how long it lasts as we go forward. if you look at it right here, john, i'll quickly go here and one of the states we were talking about, if she holds michigan, wins pennsylvania, wins new hampshire and wins florida she wins with 19 to spare and that doesn't even bring in virginia and tim kaine. the answer is no, donald trump needs to turn that one around and the that one around and florida, and pennsylvania, if donald trump doesn't turn that around, game over. john king, thank you very much. >> up next, our political panel's take on all of this. the question is how worried should the trump campaign be about this polling?
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the breaking news tonight, two new polls showing hillary
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clinton currently showing a sizeable lead in head-to-head matchups against donald trump, and a mcklatchy/marist poll puts her at 13 points and those are two polls with the average lead for clinton of 11.3 points. that's a lot. there's that and all we heard on the campaign trail from both candidates, plenty to talk about with clinton supporter and former bill clinton senior staffer richard socarides and joseph burrelly and david gergen is back with us and katie mcmainy and atlanta contributor peter beinart, full tables for you. kayleigh, i want to start with you, very little good news for donald trump and virtually no good news in these polls today, as a trump supporter how worried are you? >> hillary clinton has the advantage right now and so worrisome are the state polls particularly in the rust states
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and states where donald trump as the republican nominee has an advantage at winning over someone like ted cruz. he resonates with these working class voters and we see him dragging behind double digits in most of those states. and the really good news is when you look at the fox news poll from yesterday on the economy, he's up by five points and on who can handle isis, he's up by nine points. the problem is his message is not getting through. he was off message this week. if this is an election about issues that americans care most about which are terrorism and the economy he wins and if it's about his judgment, he loses. >> the other good news is it is august, right? it's not the end of october. however, and you're no trump supporter and you have your finger on the pulse of other republicans right now, when they look at these numbers in august they get nervous, and they may run away from donald trump which only exacerbates the problem. >> yes. the mcklatchy poll reflects
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that. white male voters have been trump's bedrock and in the mcklatchy poll he's also lost white male voters, lost support and last month he was up 14 and now with this recent point he's down eight points. so that is his bedrock support when you look deeper into these polls and you see what's going on here, people are starting to say, hold on a second, even if they think yeah, he might be bet or these two issues, but does he have the judgment and the temperament? the fox news poll said 67% of the people polled wouldn't be proud if donald trump was the president. that is a problem. you're going to cast a vote for the punish that doesn't have the temperament, judgment and -- one last thing in florida there was another poll taken where he is shown to have 13% hispanic support. he will not win florida polling with those kinds of numbers. he seems to think he is going to win hispanic vote years. the polls don't show that
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either. >> today donald trump was going to go after hillary clinton with the cash exchange with iran which people think is a good subject for him that deals with national security where kayleigh would like to see the campaign going, but he kept on bringing up this video that doesn't exist of the cash, which he said the iranians filmed and turned it over to embarrass the united states. why does he keep doing this and what drives this will to make things up like this and before you tell me by answering about hillary clinton's e-mails, just know richard is getting the next question about that. >> did i mention hillary's e-mails? objectively, even donald trump has to realize when he stays on message and when he punches up to hillary clinton and barack obama and politicians in general his poll numbers go up. you saw a clear effort of him doing that today. i think he made an innocent video. when they saw the video and if you look at the chyrons and the
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news media it was unclear what you were looking at and it was an innocent mistake. >> that was the first time. >> right, but here you go. it's about staying on message and you know, you look at some you have the and of the polls and the swing states and a lot of that is indicative of the bounce that we expected and you have the bounce in pennsylvania and, you know, for example, michigan, you didn't see a poll between the republican convention and the democratic convention, had you, you would have seen a bounce in the polls and ohio and it was a big bounce for hillary. you agree that he's talking about something? that he keeps on making a mistake. [ indiscernible ] >> what happened, i want to point out that that did not happen while hillary was secretary of state. >> let's talk about the e-mails, richard socarides, since i promised that. >> today for a second time, we learned about it today, it was introduced today, she double dipped on this notion, she keeps saying that fbi director james comey said she was truthful with the american
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people in her explanations about the e-mails and i want to remind you what director comey said in his testimony about what hillary clinton told the american people. let's watch that. >> secretary clinton said there was nothing marked classifies either sent or received, was that true? >> that's not true. >> secretary clinton said i did not e-mail any classified material on anyone on my e-mail and there is no classified material. was that true? >> there was classified material e-mail. >> fbi director james comey says that hillary clinton was truthful with the fbi. that's one thing. he did not say -- he did not say she was truthful with the american people and hillary clinton keeps on using language to suggest that he did. >> well, i think both those things are true. i think what she said is true and what i think we just heard may have been true also, mind you, director comey is talking about three e-mails that were not properly classified that may have had markings within the
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e-mail which he then went on to say that a reasonable person with knowledge of the classification system could maybe not have understood that. >> there were others that were classified. i think the thing on the e-mails is that hillary clinton has said she made a mistake with the e-mail server and we have some sense of proportionality and some sense of what is equivalence. we are basically talking with hillary clinton and what e-mail server she used and this has been investigated. she's been cleared of wrongdoing otherwise director comey's findings would have been different. >> but -- >> he is clear that she was truthful in her remarks to the fbi and to him, and so people will just have to judge. she said that it was a mistake in judgment. >> david -- david, when she says -- >> there are no lying involved. >> her statements that she's made in the interviews, not true? >> her statements to the fbi were true. what she said to the public, comey said was not true. >> david, he didn't say that. >> no, no, no. he did not say that.
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>> we just saw it. >> you have to take it in its entire context. >> we can't play the whole tape, john. >> i think that was enough. he said -- you can analyze this back and forth and the truth is people are splitting hairs about this. there were, what this comes down to. >> the washington post gave her four pinocchios. >> the three e-mails that were wrongly classified and they did not have classified written on top of them and you this to see a marking. >> the bottom line is three were marked classified although they were small -- >> and mismarked and misidentified. >> special access program. >> let's talk about the political issue because she keeps on using this explanation for which "the washington post" fact checker gave her four pinocchios and the explanation she's giving in interviews is not true, so why keep on going back to that? >> if you look at the whole history of hillary clinton's career in public office going
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back of the 1990s and picayune, and whitewater, she's always had a trouble of coming clean and it's always tended to serve her badly and i think this is part of that. >> richard -- richard -- [ indiscernible ] >> i'm a hillary clinton supporter who is willing to criticize her, okay? >> i criticize her all of the time, but i will not criticize her about this. >> what i was going to say about this -- richard -- richard, what i was going to say is where she's lucky is that she's running against a candidate so incompetent that he totally failed to use this gift that he gave her by spending his time instead attacking the khan family. so this -- this blunder that she made hasn't hurt her as much. >> i know you all have a lot more to say. the good news for all of these. you're coming back. hold on to it for a little bit. just ahead, a new controversy for the trump campaign centering
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now on donald trump's wife, melania and whether she came to the united states legally two decades ago. new questions about her visa status sparked by new photos of her taken in 1995 and plastered across the new york tabloids this week. but her aleve doesn't. hey mom! because aleve can last 4 hours longer than tylenol 8 hour. what will you do with your aleve hours?
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donald trump as you know is making illegal immigration the centerpiece of his campaign. his wife melania, a native of slovenia, has spoken about being an immigrant and now a proud american, making a point of saying she came to this country legally and followed all the rules. but tonight there are questions about those claims, questions raised in part by nude photos taken of her before she became mrs. trump. the story from cnn's jessica sidner. >> reporter: the photos fanned across the cover of the "new york post." the 25-year-old melania trump posing provocatively for a french magazine. but the photos that raised a few eyebrows are now raising questions about melania's immigration history. >> i came to united states, to new york, in 1996. >> reporter: 1996 is the year she stands by, telling cnn's anderson cooper and numerous other publications that's when she came to the u.s. but these photos were snapped in new york city in 1995, according to the author of her recent biography. so what difference does a year
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make? possibly the difference between mrs. trump breaking immigration law or not. to understand why, listen to melania trump's own words. >> i came here on visa, i flew to slovenia every few months to stamp it, and came back. i applied for green card, and then after few years, for citizenship. i obeyed the law, i did it the right way, i didn't just sneak in and stay here. so i think that's what people should do. >> reporter: trump insists she got her visa stamped every few months. if that's accurate, it would mean she had a type of visa, possibly a tourist visa, that needs to be updated periodically. but that type of visa does not allow working in the united states. the type of visa that does allow work is called h1b and the man who discovered melania tells cnn he didn't sponsor her for that until 1996, a year after the photo shoot.
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but there's a caveat. the photographer behind the camera at the shoot says melania was a young model waiting for a big break so she didn't get paid which mean she didn't violate any immigration laws. >> you are making this kind of magazine to have exposure. this exposure was bringing you to catalog campaign and everything. >> reporter: so melania was not paid for this photo shoot, you say? >> no, no, no. nobody's paying. nobody's paying. >> reporter: if that nonpaid photo shoot was the only work she did before getting the h1b visa she wouldn't have broken any laws. melania trump isn't directly answering whether she was first in new york in 1995 instead of 1996 like she's previously stated but could it be an honest error. she wrote this on twitter. let me set the record straight. i have at all times been in full compliance with the immigration laws of this country, period. any allegation to the contrary is simply untrue.
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in 1996 i proudly became a u.s. citizen. over the past 20 years i have been fortunate to live, work and raise a family in this great nation and i share my husband's love for this country. it's a sentiment she expressed in her cleveland convention speech. >> i was very proud to become citizen of the united states. >> melania trump got her green card in 2001 and today i talked to an immigration attorney who tells me any previous visa issues would have likely have had to have been addressed back during that process, during the green card process. he says any visa issues that emerge now almost 20 years later would likely be forgiven. >> thanks so much. much more ahead, including president obama on donald trump's fitness for office. if you've gone to extremes to escape your nasal allergies. try clarispray. new, from the makers of claritin. and nothing is more effective at relieving your
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